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All eyes on Archer ahead of Englishman’s Test debut

“Obviously coming into this series we knew Jofra was going to be a key player for them at some stage,” Paine said.

“We are in a bit of luck given guys have faced him, albeit in Big Bash cricket. We know how good Jofra is, we know he bowls fast, we know he is very skilful, he is a great asset for them.


“It’s not every day a six-foot-five or six (195cm-198cm) West Indian turns up on your doorstep. We know how good he is and we’re prepared to play him. It’s his first Test match as well so there is going to be plenty of pressure on him.”

Paine himself has been a teammate of Archer’s at Hobart Hurricanes and wouldn’t have been surprised by the paceman’s casual pre-Test response to the plans of Australia’s coach to wear him out at Lord’s, saying “Justin Langer has got another thing coming”.

“From the time I’ve spent with him not much flusters him unless he has a bad night on Fortnite on the Playstation,” Paine said.

“That tends to get to him a bit more than the cricket but obviously he is a pretty laidback character. Test match cricket is a different beast, it’s up to us to put him under pressure, whether that’s physically and making him bowl a lot of overs and make him back up day after day. I think that can test the very best of bowlers.”

England captain Joe Root said Archer offered his team “something different”.

“He’s very confident, which is great. Someone coming in with that attitude is just what you want,” Root said.

“I remember his first World Cup game, we’d just done the anthems, it was obviously a huge occasion, playing South Africa … I reckon before the first ball was bowled he was asleep in the dressing-room. He is very relaxed, he knows what he needs to do to prepare well. For a young man he’s quite mature in terms of cricket, which is again a great quality to have.”


Root said he believed Archer could successfully translate his World Cup exploits to the Ashes and could seriously worry Australia, not just with his pace.

“It’d be nice if he was staying up at 88-92mph (141-148kmh), around that bracket, for the chances he gets to bowl,” Root said. “He’s very skilful as well. Everyone talks about his pace and his easy action but he’s got some very good skills. He gets the ball moving around both ways. Factor that in with the pace he bowls, he will cause a lot of problems I’m sure.

“He’s had a slightly different journey to a lot of the other guys and has gained a lot of experience, whether it be under pressure in Twenty20 cricket and obviously the World Cup now as well, and I think that can stand guys in just as good a stead as three or four seasons in county cricket.

“He’s got a very good record in red-ball cricket. There will be question marks about his workloads coming into the game but I think importantly if we manage that well, he’s proven over the last couple of years when he has played county cricket that he can manage that well. He’s a very exciting prospect.”

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